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What is Iyengar yoga ?

Disclaimer: I am a Hatha yoga certified teacher who's practiced Iyengar yoga for over 25 years. I teach what I know.

Iyengar Yoga, named after B.K.S. Iyengar, a prominent yoga teacher from India, is a form of Hatha Yoga that emphasizes precision, alignment, and the use of props. Developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, this yoga style is characterized by its attention to detail and the methodical approach to performing postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama). Here are the key features of Iyengar Yoga:


Alignment and Precision:

Iyengar Yoga focuses on the correct alignment of the body in each pose. Practitioners aim to perform each asana with exactitude, paying close attention to the positioning of the body parts.


Use of Props:

To help achieve proper alignment and make poses accessible to everyone, Iyengar Yoga uses various props such as blocks, belts, ropes, blankets, and chairs. These props support the body, allowing for a deeper and more effective practice.



Iyengar Yoga emphasizes the sequence in which poses are performed. The sequences are designed to build strength, flexibility, and stability progressively.


Therapeutic Applications:

This style of yoga is often used therapeutically. Specific sequences and modifications are used to address various health issues and physical limitations.


Holding Poses:

Poses are typically held for longer periods compared to other yoga styles. This holding helps in deepening the pose, improving alignment, and building strength and stamina.


Philosophical Foundation:

While the physical practice is prominent, Iyengar Yoga also integrates the philosophical aspects of yoga, emphasizing the eight limbs of yoga as outlined by Patanjali, which include ethical disciplines, self-observance, breath control, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and self-realization.

Iyengar Yoga is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels due to its adaptability and the use of props, making it an inclusive and accessible practice.

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